Sunday, June 26, 2016

If Charities Cannot Get Number Right, What Else is Wrong?

Got up this morning and reading the second article so far about PTSD and suicides, my head is ready to just explode.

If they cannot get the number of veterans committing suicide right, then what else have they gotten wrong?

Both article involve motorcycle riders trying to change the outcome for far too many veterans.  Suicide in the veterans community is higher than in the civilian community.  Most states put the number at double the civilian rate.  With the CDC stating over 41,000 suicides per year, that means we are losing over 26,000 but you do the math.

The VA used the number "22" as an average and pointed out that involved just 21 states using limited data. The report came out 4 years ago and data collected was completed in 2010.  

The report also pointed out that the vast majority of veterans committing suicide within the VA data were over the age of 50. That number is 78%.

This is from North Dakota used "victims of PTSD" when it is clear, they are not victims but survived the trauma itself. The ride was dedicated to Joe Biel a veteran who committed suicide after 2 tours in Iraq.
“On average 22 veterans a day commit suicide due to PTSD. We've lost more people to PTSD the last ten years than we have to actual combat,” said Jory Stevenson, with Apathy Original Motorcycle Club
This report is out of Wisconsin about a fundraiser for equine therapy.  This has been shown to help veterans with PTSD but while that should have been the message, it was deluded with yet again a troubling claim.
“It is so important to get to them, 22 vets a day kill themselves,” said co-owner of the Trinity Equestrian Center Toni Mattson
If they cannot get the number right then what else have the gotten wrong? If you think that using the number is harmless, then you are part of the problem. Their lives should matter enough to actually learn the facts and stop reducing them down to an easy to remember number.  What about the over 50 veterans not included in that number? What about all the families within the over 50 range thinking it is only younger veterans society cares about? 

How can any of them care if they have not bothered to learn that the group with the highest suicide rate is being left out of all the efforts to save them? How can older veteran involved in all these efforts to raise funds not even know it is their generation of veterans suffering the most?

Nothing will ever change until people seeking to raise funds for what they want to do actually prove they know what they are talking about.